CD: Amy Winehouse, Frank

(Island Records)

Winehouse sounds as if she has performed a thousand times in smoky jazz clubs. So it comes as some surprise to learn that she is just 19 and was raised in north London.

Sitting somewhere between Nina Simone and Erykah Badu, Winehouse's sound is at once innocent and sleazy. She claims that she can only write about what she has already learned, but she makes some starkly candid and humorous social observations on the fun-poking Fuck Me Pumps and the brazen single, Stronger Than Me.

Standout track Take the Box is a stunningly soulful tale of returning an ex-lover's possessions and You Send Me Flying does just that, thanks to a colossal vocal talent.

October Song, meanwhile, forges uplifting jazz out of the death of a pet canary. There are contradictions - but it's hard not to hear the honesty and soul that resonates throughout this album.

Beccy Lindon

The GuardianTramp

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